Creator of one of the most bizarre and organic styles in the history of architecture, Antonio Gaudi Cornet, Spain's national treasure, was blessed with not only the vision, but the patronage that allowed him to build his elaborate and surreal designs. With Antonio Gaudi
, Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman in the Dunes
) gives a tour of the makings of Gaudi's world. Almost entirely without narration, Teshigahara guides us instead with an eerie score by Toru Takemitsu and a few subtitles. The film is more a poem than a documentary, but don't expect an approach similar to Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi
. Instead we are given a quiet soundtrack that mixes Takemitsu's sparse score with the natural sounds surrounding Gaudi's structures, and a stationary camera presents the buildings as if they have sprouted: supports seem to magically erupt from the ground like roots, and our eyes are led through the textures and patterns of Gaudi's elaborate mosaic stone and brick designs. Visually revealing and comprehensive, Teshigahara leaves us with only one thing to do--to view Gaudi's amazing world with our own eyes. --Ted Sonnenschein
Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926) designed some of the world's most astonishing buildings, interiors, and parks. Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara constructed some of the most aesthetically audacious films of the second half of the twentieth century. Here, their artistry melds in a unique, enthralling cinematic experience. Less a documentary than a visual poem, Teshigahara's Antonio Gaudi
takes viewers on a tour of Gaudi's truly spectacular architecture, including his massive still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral, in Barcelona. With camerawork as bold and sensual as the curves on his subject's organic surfaces, Teshigahara immortalizes Gaudi on film.